Arizona officials are still struggling to agree on steps to take to respond to a flood of reports of child abuse and neglect, but the state also has a big backlog in abuse and neglect cases involving adults.
Those cases have increased by 27 percent in each of the past two fiscal years.
The new state budget approved by the Legislature and awaiting action by Gov. Jan Brewer includes additional funding for hiring additional investigators and other personnel, but not as much money as Brewer requested.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports that the backlog of adult-protection cases has been growing as attention has been focused on efforts to reconstruct the state's child-protection agency.
The state adult-protection agency had 8,800 open cases at the end of February.